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New appeal made for controversial Lask Edge turbine  

Credit:  By Leslie Jackson | Leek Post & Times | May 11, 2016 | www.leek-news.co.uk ~~

A fresh appeal has been made against enforcement action being taken against a controversial wind turbine located in a rural Staffordshire Moorlands location.

The Post & Times reported last week that enforcement action was set to be taken to remove a wind turbine at Lask Edge Farm, Lask Edge Road, Lask Edge, near Leek.

Controversy has raged since a planning application for a single 5KW micro turbine on a 15-metre tower was applied for in October 2013.

The scheme has led to planning debates and has involved both the Government Planning Inspectorate and the High Court.

The initial application was recommended for refusal by planning officers and then turned down by the council’s planning applications committee in February 2014.

The applicant then appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the appeal was upheld in November 2014.

However, a Judicial Review of the decision was initiated by a member of the public with the High Court.

This was successful and the High Court in Manchester quashed the decision after the Planning Inspectorate accepted it had made a mistake in its determination of the appeal.

The decision stated that the inspector failed to give adequate reasons for the conclusion that there were special circumstances which outweighed the harm to the green belt and other harm.

The application was then sent back to the Planning Inspectorate, but was this time dismissed by an inspector on January 27, 2016.

But now Christopher Scott has submitted an appeal against the enforcement action of the turbine on behalf of his parents.

In a Grounds of Appeal statement Mr Scott, said: “It is important to highlight that the appellant intends to part-comply with the terms of the enforcement notice in that they are willing to reduce the height of the wind turbine from its current height to a reduced column height of 12 metres, a hub height of 12.3 metres, and an overall blade tip of 15 metres. The Planning Inspector is requested to determine the appeal on the basis of these intended revisions.

“This is not prejudicial to any party, as both the council and any interested third parties will have the opportunity to fully consider the revised scheme and comment as they so wish.

“In February 2016 the appellants volunteered to submit a fresh planning application to the district council to lower the wind turbine from its existing 15-metre tower onto a lower 12-metre tower.

“The appellants informed the council that a 2015 Wind Turbine Sensitivity Study stated it did not consider domestic scale turbines (of 15 metres to blade tip or less).

“Therefore the clear implications were that lowering the wind turbine would have a reduced impact on the green belt and local landscape.

“In March due to continued lack of feedback from the planning department the appellants submitted their new application for the turbine on a lower 12 metre tower.

“Within two hours the council’s operations manager contacted the appellants to inform them the council would be declining the application.

“The appellants then requested legal counsel who stated they strongly disagreed with the choice of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council not to validate the submitted application.

“The legal counsel said the applicants have genuinely sought to reduce impact on openness and green belt objectives in the only way that is open to them.

“The balance of harm and benefits will be materially different as a result.”

Source:  By Leslie Jackson | Leek Post & Times | May 11, 2016 | www.leek-news.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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